Third time in Class A title game is charm for Savannah Christian



ATLANTA — Will Austin had a 67-yard touchdown in the first quarter and Nardo Govan scored on a 25-yard run in the fourth as Savannah Christian defeated Landmark Christian 20-3 to win the Class A state championship Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

Ahmad Johnson added a 26-yard fumble return for the final touchdown and the Raiders (15-0) held Landmark (12-3) to 75 total yards while gaining 253 themselves.

It was the first Georgia High School Association title for the Raiders and just the second for a Savannah school. Savannah Country Day won a Class C championship in 1969 in what was then the smallest classification.

Landmark’s only points came on a 36-yard field goal by Garrison Adams in the second quarter.

It was the third title game appearance in a row for Savannah Christian, which lost 24-14 to Clinch County last season and 30-21 to Wilcox County in 2009.

Savannah Christian won seven state championships between 1975 and 1984 in the Georgia Independent School Association before moving to the GHSA in 1988.

Landmark was in the title game for the first time and was trying to be the first No. 4 seed to win an outright state championship. Peachtree Ridge shared the Class AAAAA title with Roswell in 2006.

Savannah Christian came in allowing 5.8 points per game – the best in Class A – and recorded its sixth shutout of the season in the semifinals.




Nick Schuessler threw touchdown passes of 55 and 11 yards to Callen Hightower and Grayson limited Walton to six first downs in the win.

Robert Nkemdiche scored the first touchdown on a 3-yard run. He led a defense that sacked Walton quarterback Parker McLeod five times and held Tyren Jones to 11 yards on 12 carries. Jones came in as the state’s leading rusher with 2,299 yards.

Grayson (15-0) did all its scoring in the first half, when it had 203 yards to 40 for Walton (14-1). Walton finished with 95 yards, but 52 came on a fourth-quarter run by Jacob Murphy.

It was the first state title for Grayson, which opened in 2000, but the eighth by a Gwinnett County team in the highest classification since 1996

It was the 100th victory for coach Mickey Conn, who began the Grayson program.